While you are in your 20s there are so many opportunities to travel: before university, after university, around your job, during a sabbatical etc. During this time you have little responsibility and (hopefully) money to be spending on yourself. It is the perfect time to travel and these are my must have experiences during that time.
20 Trips To Take In Your 20s
1. A Paradise Beach Trip
The one where you get to lie on pristine white sand beaches, tip your toes in clear turquoise water and surrender in the shade of a palm tree before having dinner while you watch the sun set. Two places spring to mind for this kind of trip: Whitsunday Islands and Koh Rong Island
2. A See The Northern (or Southern) Lights Trip
The northern lights are generally more visible than the southern ones because there is more land area from where you can see them but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Either way, a trip to see this incredible light show is worth it. Unfortunately sightings are never fully guaranteed but a trip to Scandinavia in the winter is still going to be fun.
3. A Really Hot Country and 4. A Really Cold Country Trip
As a British Citizen, I live in a pretty average climate. It is rare we get a super hot and humid day but it is also rare we get a snowy minus degrees day too. The only thing that is common is a lot of rain. That is why a trip to countries with extreme climates of hot and cold are worth taking. You won’t know hot until you are sweating minutes from getting out of the shower and you won’t know cold until you are wondering around in millions of laters and feeling/looking like an eskimo.
5. A Ski/Snowboard Trip
This kind of adventure holiday is something everyone must do once. Standing for the first time on a snowboard or even falling off of a chair lift are things you can only understand once you have experienced them. There is something exciting about being at the top of the mountain when the snow starts to fall and you are surrounded by it for miles.
6. A Trip All About Food
I’ve never really been a foodie but once you find somewhere with food you love it is easy to see why people take trips just for the foodie experience. Go all out with extravagant restaurant choices and even indulge in a cooking class. My favourite place for a food experience has to be South East Asia.
7. A Volunteer Trip
The first ever solo trip I took was to South Africa to volunteer in an aids orphanage. I really feel like it was the turning point for me and without that experience I wouldn’t be who I am today. Deep, I know but I truly believe everyone should take a trip like the one I took and experience something out of their comfort zone while giving back to those who most need it.
8. A Luxury Trip
One where you fork out a large some of money to experience a luxury you haven’t before. Something like a five star hotel/restaurant. I find these trips/experiences are best done at the end of a ‘proper’ backpacking stint where you have been sleeping and eating on the cheap for a while. This way you appreciate the luxury so much more.
9. A Trip Where You Take A Hike
I don’t just mean a silly little one hour stroll, I mean the kind where you spend the entire day hiking and everything about it adds to the experience. There are chances to take this kind of trip all over, taking in different views and seasons and you wouldn’t have to leave the UK if you didn’t want. However, the 18km hiking trip I took in New Zealand across the Tongariro Crossing was one of the best trips ever.
10. A Trip To A Country That Speaks Another Language
I genuinely think that travelling is easy until you arrive in a country that speaks a foreign language and very little English. There is nothing like a language barrier to make you feel scared and vulnerable. As an English speaking person I am spoilt by the fact all major airports have English signs. However, once you step out of the airport you are on your own – I highly suggest having a Lonely Planet phrase book you help you as they even tell you how to pronounce the word.
11. A Road Trip
Out of every trip mentioned here I a probably the biggest advocate for a road trip. I have taken more than my fair share in the last few years and everyone has been epic. There is something about moving around destination every night/few nights that makes a trip extra special. You can turn your road trip into any kind of trip you want – you could stay in luxury hotels every night, camp every night or even hire a camper van. You name the opportunity and it’s there with a road trip. Some of my favourites have been: the big American West one, The Great Ocean Road one and the Scottish one.
12. A Trip To A Big City
Unless you live in a big city then the experience will be something very different to what you are used to. I come from a tiny little village in the forest and remember my first trip to London. It was so bright everywhere, even in the dark and you didn’t have to go far for the shops. Now a days I live in London but I still appreciate a trip to another city every now and then because every place is different in its own way.
13. A Trip To The Middle Of No Where
I’m talking about some where you would need to take a car or a boat too. Where you would have to drive to the shops and at night the sky is black meaning you can see a gorgeous night sky full of stars. I visited a lot of places like this in Scotland – islands and mainland villages which are so far away from a big city. It is easy to take this trip in the UK but you wouldn’t have to, there are plenty of places around the world which allow you to experience being in the middle of nowhere. If you want an extreme experience then maybe head to the outback in Australia.
14. A Diving Trip
Possibly the only trip listed that I haven’t done and am not keen on, I’m just not a fan of being underwater. That being said I know more people than not who have been diving and loved every second of it. There is a huge world to explore under the water and diving opens this up to you. With many top spots around the world it will be hard to choose just one I’m sure.
15. A Long Haul Trip and 16. A Short Haul Trip
There is something very different about taking a long haul flight over a short haul flight. Both are exciting and you can get to many very different destinations on a short haul flight from the UK. However, there is something exciting around jumping on a plane and knowing that is you for the next twelve hours. It is as much the new destination as the long haul flight that make this experience. To appreciate the long haul trip and how special it is you first need to have been on a short haul flight.
17. A Trip By Train
I’ve always loved flying and like nothing better than heading to the airport and changing country but what happens when you can do just that by train. You sit back, relax and admire the world as it goes past the window. The rail system all over Europe is highly rated as a mode to travel by and certainly makes jumping from one country to another pretty easy. I would highly recommend this mode if you hate flying but it also saves time on the having to be at the airport at least two hours before malarky!
18. A Multi Destination Trip
Going on holiday is great, I’ve taken my fair share of holidays over the last few years and loved every one. However, there is something so exciting about being on a multi-destinations trip, knowing that you will visit not one but two or three or four countries on my trip. The transition between countries, culture, language, food and currency are highlighted more when you travel between the countries rather than visiting each one at a separate time. A trip like this also saves on the flights as you can just pop across the land border into the next country.
19. A Trip To A Festival
Another one which can be done in the UK or abroad or both. Music festivals are there own kind of experience with the option of camping, getting all dressed up and soaking up the sun (although more often than not in the UK you will be soaking up the mud). Attending a music festival abroad is one of my favourite memories from the US, we rocked up not knowing a single band and left knowing every word to one band’s songs.
20. A trip to learn all about history
There are many places I’ve been to while travelling that are known for their history: Normandy in France and Ancient Athens in Greece but it is those places who’s history isn’t well known that I find more interesting. For example the history of the aboriginals of Australia, especially the events in Cairns in the 70s which I knew nothing about before my visit. Or about the days of regime in Cambodia where millions were murdered at the killing fields by those running the country, again something I knew very little about until visiting the country. A trip like this will open your eyes and make you aware of how little you know about other countries.